Ceci (age 14) and Davey (age 10) Howes held their annual “Save the Pandas” Fundraiser on September 4, 2017 in Winnipeg, Canada. It is a fun-filled event with panda cupcakes, marshmallows, emPANaDAs cooked in an outdoor wood-fire oven, and lots of panda-themed games. They are thrilled that for the 5th straight year, they raised enough money to adopt a panda through Pandas International. In total, Ceci and Davey have raised $4,310 over the past 5 years! Ceci and Davey held their first fundraiser in 2013, after they spent a month in Chengdu. While in Chengdu, they visited the Chengdu Panda Base several times. This led them to research pandas and the reasons pandas became an endangered species. Ever since then, they like to share information about pandas and what everyone can do to protect their favorite animal and safeguard the environment pandas need to survive. Ceci and Davey also enjoy involving friends in their annual fundraiser and are thankful for the support of various communities.
Port Allen Elementary School in Port Allen, Louisiana, initiated a fund raiser to adopt a panda from Pandas International. Their school mascot is the giant panda and the staff thought it was important for the children to learn about endangered and vulnerable species as well as be a part of a giving campaign that would unite the school for a good cause. Students in Kindergarten - 2nd grade learned all about pandas, observed them on the panda cams, and worked on projects for the fundraising event. Penny cans were placed in every classroom and the second graders researched and made informational posters to place around the school. Kindergartners made panda artwork to sell, and classes from head start through second grade brought in pennies daily. Port Allen Elementary reached their goal in October and they are so excited to adopt Chu Xin (1st Love), and they hope to make this an annual event! Thank you to the amazing students and staff at Port Allen for making a huge difference in helping us to save the Giant Pandas.
Third grade students from Vista Verde made posters and commercials to advertise their collection efforts school-wide. Parents were involved by collecting at their work. Past students collected bottles and helped build awareness in the community. The money, collected from the bottles, was donated to Pandas International. These amazing third graders were able to raise $350! Thank you for you for your generous donation and efforts in helping to save the environment and the Giant Pandas.
Aaron wanted to help the pandas "score" at his sports themed party. He asked for donations instead of presents to help Pandas International for the second year in a row. Thanks to the generosity of friends and family, he collected $350 to donate this year! Thank you Aaron for your continued support and generosity!
Lizzie started a Panda Club at Brier Terrace Middle School where she and her friends, Danni, Jonni, Alea, David and Jaden discussed panda issues and made panda bracelets from black and white bands to raise funds for Pandas International. At the school’s recent culture fair, Lizzie set up a booth with panda goodies and lots of information about pandas. She also printed out the downloads from Pandas International so that guests could color and learn about panda conservancy. She sold the bracelets that she and her friends made in the Panda Club raising $100.95 in donations. Thank you Lizzie for your dedication and wonderful support.
Four 4th graders participated in a project called Mustang big Give. Each group chose a charity, then sold items at a school event ranging from 10 cents to $1. These 4th graders sold duck tape wallets, rainbow loom panda pencil toppers, and raffle tickets to win a panda iPod case and a panda stuffed animal! They worked really hard and enjoyed raising the money. Haley, Lily, Kaitlyn and Ineta were able to raise over $200! Thank you girls for your hard work, for caring about the Giant Pandas and for making a difference!
May 29 – June 1, 2017: Chengdu Base Prior to this trip the Chengdu staff asked for my input on a study they wanted to conduct to investigate the hormonal factors associated with breeding and parenthood. Via email we developed a plan and arranged for me to validate the hormone analyses while I was in China. Over the course of several days I would design the validation steps and analyze the results at the Chengdu Base, and Jessica worked with the staff in the lab to carry out the wet lab procedures. Although we were only able to complete about 95% of the validation procedures ourselves, we left in place very simple procedures to complete the validation the day after we left. Additionally, Jessica developed protocols for the study tailored to the equipment and supplies of the Chengdu Base laboratory. Because Jessica handled the lab procedures of the study validation described above, I was able to spend one-on-one time with the Chengdu Base endocrinologist about the theory and practices behind validation. Additionally, we were able to review the application of the knowledge throughout the week as results came in from the validation procedures Jessica was carrying out. As a result of this integrated effort the Chengdu Base staff were able to grasp the knowledge and skills involved in validation. Finally, the long-standing contributions I have made to the hormone lab at the Chengdu Base prompted discussions of future studies we could conduct on the giant panda, with relation to reproduction and well-being. Conclusion of the Chengdu Base portion of the trip: The ability to work with staff on theory while Jessica was able to follow through with laboratory work is ideal for intensive training in hormone monitoring techniques. Although I have provided training to the staff in years past, there are many aspects of this methodology that are still evolving and even I have to take time out of my own research to learn new techniques and methodologies. However, I think the training at the Chengdu Base was fruitful and the collaborations set up from this trip will bear fruit [...]
This journal is my summary of providing training and setting up research projects at the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP) Dujiangyan Base (DJY) and the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding (Chengdu Base) starting May 22nd and ending June 2nd, 2017. I have long-standing relationships with both facilities/organizations in the capacity of setting up and providing training on hormone monitoring techniques for giant pandas, particularly with regard to breeding. The purpose of the DJY portion of the trip was to provide follow-up training on endocrine monitoring techniques and set up a study that will permit accurate measurement of hormones in the feces of giant pandas in the wild. The purpose of the Chengdu Base portion of the trip was likewise to provide additional training on hormone monitoring techniques, set up a study to assess the hormone changes associated with parenthood and breeding, and discuss future research projects. In my summary below I will provide further detail about the activities for each facility, however before I do so I want to acknowledge that this trip would have not been possible without the generosity of Pandas International (PI). PI has not only supported efforts for the betterment of giant pandas in China, but have also supported my activities in China; to that end I am deeply appreciative. Additionally, I would like to acknowledge the invaluable help provided by my assistant on this trip, Dr. Jessica Coote. Dr. Coote worked in my lab when she was a student and was willing to utilize her vacation time to assist me in training and lab work during this trip. Finally, Western University of Health Sciences continues to support my time in these endeavors, for which I am very grateful. May 24 – 26, 2017: DJY Part of the impetus behind this trip came from DJY staff in wanting to conduct hormone monitoring studies of giant pandas in the wild, but in full recognition that there are limitations to such studies. One such limitation is the degradation of hormones in the feces once voided. Not accounting for these post-voidance alterations [...]
Sarah made a sign for her campaign and her pet pandas helped. With her passion for saving pandas, she raised $50.00 for Pennies 4 Pandas. She set up a booth at her ice skating exhibition and invited guests to donate during her birthday party. This was her first time raising money for any type of cause, she looks forward to having greater success in the future. Thank you Sarah for helping the Giant Pandas.
El Camino High School’s Animal Club had a vision to help save beloved giant pandas from extinction. We were determined to raise funds in support of Pandas International, even if it meant one coin at a time. From there, we thought of the slogan--Pennies For Pandas. Our club members came together and made unique donation jars. We asked members to carry jars around schools and hopefully raise some funds from classmates and teachers. It was the perfect opportunity to talk about the cause and explain the critical situation pandas were facing. In addition we raised awareness through school posters and announcements. We were pleasantly surprised by the numerous support we received from our school community. In the end we counted over $200 . ECHS Animal Club is happy to help out Pandas International. One penny at a time. Thank you to everyone at ECHS Animal Club for helping to save the Giant Pandas.